The excavation of a 2,000-year-old drainage channel running beneath Jerusalem’s City of David is providing a startling glimpse into the realities of the First Jewish Revolt (66–70 C.E.). According to the Jewish historian Josephus, Jewish rebels used the tunnels to hide from Roman forces attempting to crush the rebellion. During an announcement about recent discoveries from the tunnel excavation, including a Roman sword and early menorah carving, archaeologists with the Israel Antiquities Authority provided some historical context for the recent finds, as well as the tunnel itself. “We found many things that we assume are linked to the rebels who hid out here, like oil lamps, cooking pots, objects that people used and took with them, perhaps as a souvenir in the hope that they would be going back,” said Eli Shukron, one of the archaeologists in charge of the tunnel excavation.
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Reviewed by R. Steven Notley
R. Steven Notley reviews Jerusalem: The Temple Mount by Leen Ritmeyer and Kathleen Ritmeyer.